By Elliot Foster
Ricky Burns will return to the ring in the autumn.
The WBA super-lightweight champion (40-5-1, 14 KOs), who knocked out Italy’s Michele Di Rocco for the vacant title in May, will make the first defence of his belt in his next outing.
Burns, from Coatbridge, Scotland, is set to come up against his mandatory challenger at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow –– but the date won’t be the same one as has been advertised.
The promoter of Burns, Eddie Hearn of Matchroom Sport, had mentioned a tentative date of October 8, live on Sky Sports, for the showdown against Kiryl Relikh of Belarus, who is the WBA Inter-Continental champion at 140lbs, has a record of 21-0 with 19 early endings and is trained and managed by Manchester’s former world champion Ricky Hatton.
But the date of the fight was forced forward, Hearn revealed to Boxing Scene, after football got in the way.
“We went to book the venue [for October 8], which was the date we had eyed with Sky and everything lined up,” Hearn said.
“And I looked at the calendar to see what other sporting events were on in the vicinity that weekend and just thought ‘Oh, no!’ when I realised that there was football on.
Scotland’s national team play Lithuania in a World Cup qualifier on October 8 at Hampden Park and it would have resulted in lower attendances at the Burns-Relikh event, given that football takes precedent over boxing in the area.
“We used a bit of common sense,” Hearn continued to tell ‘Scene, “and asked the venue whether they had the Friday available, which they did, so it looks like we’ll be going on the Friday.”
Scott Cardle (20-0-1, 6 KOs) will fight on the card in a defence of his British lightweight title against mandatory challenger Kevin Hooper (19-3, 4 KOs), with further names to be added to the bill in due course.
Meanwhile, Hearn confirmed to Boxing Scene that he plans to make the fight between Dillian Whyte (18-1, 14 KOs) and Sam Sexton (23-3, 9 KOs) for the vacant British heavyweight crown, with designs of it landing on the bill should all the relevant British Boxing Board of Control approval go through.